As we stood in Central Park at 96th earlier this week, it was hard to believe we were approaching mid-November. A timely surprise, the warm sunshine and light, positive atmosphere have been so welcoming this week. It was lovely to see your children at play on Tuesday and then out with Play Rugby USA for one of the best sport afternoons this term. At present we are enveloped in a kaleidoscope of beautiful Fall colours, which is one of the most inspiring aspects of living in this part of the world as the seasons slowly change. The vibrancy of the different shades, moving from dusty brown to burnt amber to cherry, ruby and vermilion are breathtaking. I know many of you have travelled to see the glorious fall foliage this year and whilst it is suggested that mid to late October is the best time to view these stunning scenes, it is never too late to share some of the best photographs in this beautiful country. Whether you have been to New England, New Paltz or further afield, the scenes are breathtaking. Whilst some things might have temporarily changed in 2020, this has been a gloriously fixed treasure for us all to enjoy this year.
Another fixed part of the school calendar every term, is the Governance visit from the UK team. I met with our Advisory Board on Monday afternoon, so it was a busy start to the week. I have to say, the Fall colours from these glorious photographs sum up the joy of this termly visit entirely. The visiting team would normally spend time with your children and share lunches with the classes and teaching team, but all send their best wishes to you. It was an exceptional Zoom day visit and inspiringly positive – we enjoy such solid support, professional guidance and tremendous care from the UK and US advisory team. There is much strength and praise to celebrate and they look forward to meeting with you all again soon, once we move into 2021. As I move into my 10th year within our group of schools, it is a privilege in New York, to be part of a large network and organisation with such educational history and experience.
Another guarantee we can rely on at WPNY is the new avenue of initiatives being piloted by teachers, classes and the school alike. We like our traditions and fixed school routines, as these build a strong community and confidence, but we also like to move and grow, as you will have seen! Building global and local citizenship is a valued school aim, educational connection and being part of an educational group far bigger than our school in Manhattan alone makes our school and practice unique. We are always looking for enterprising ways to create new learning opportunities to directly benefit our children.
Grade 3 have been leading the way on many fronts and I would like to highlight two new projects for the 20-21 school year. As we know, Grade 3 have started Classics this term, which is a new addition to our curriculum. They are currently following the ‘Minimus’ programme and have completed some fun and inspiring activities. From December, they will be joined by Magister Thomas Vogiatzis, who is Head of Classics at Wetherby Prep in London and I have been excited to see the way WPNY and WPS will partner to foster and promote a love of learning Classics – more to follow in the next edition, after Thanksgiving. Watch this space as I start to share more news on our educational projects with other UK schools. Never has our world been more easily connected and united in this aspect.
To enhance the learning in Grade 3 Spanish classes, Senora Alba has made pen friend links between our students in New York and a school in Tarragona in Catalonia. The students have been conversing across the globe and their Spanish friends have sent some welcoming English messages, telling our children about the main highlights of living in Tarragona. We have learnt about many of their local Roman monuments, including the ‘Saint Antoni Arch’, the Aqueduct, otherwise known as ‘Devil’s Bridge’ and the local Amphitheatre, which is very dramatic, set against the sea. There are 80 children in this year group, so our Grade 3 class have a wealth of new Spanish friends and connections.
We break for Thanksgiving on Friday 20th November and what a ten weeks it has been so far. Our next Family Assembly will take place on that Friday at 9.15am and your email invitation and Zoom invite will follow at the start of next week. We hope to see as many of you there as possible. We shall be sending your children home for a well-deserved holiday feeling grateful and happy!